Advertisement
Advertisement

Mendez Ready To Send Notice To Other 130 Lb. Champs

By Jake Donovan

Argenis Mendez is fully focused on his next title defense, which comes Friday against mandatory challenger Rances Barthelemy at the Target Center in Minneapolis. The bout serves as the 2014 season premiere of ESPN2 Friday Night Fights.

Even with all of his mental energy locked in on this weekend's challenge, it's impossible to not think ahead given all of the talent and activity in the 130 lb. division. New Year's Eve in Japan saw Takashi Uchiyama and Takashi Miura defend their belts in separate bouts in Tokyo, paving the way for a potential rematch and unification bout at some point in 2014.

Stateside, unbeaten Miguel Angel 'Mikey' Garcia defends his belt against Juan Carlos Burgos on January 25 in New York City.

Mendez is cognizant of the challenge immediately in front of him, viewing this weekend's bout as a must-win in order to pave the way for what he insists will be the biggest year of his career.

"I want to congratulate (Uchiyama and Miura) on their wins today," Mendez said earlier Tuesday afternoon after learning of his divisional rivals' accomplishments. "I'd love to fight both of them at some point and add their belts to my collection. If they fight each other, then I will put myself in position to get the winner.

"Mikey Garcia is also on the radar as well. I've been thinking about nothing other than taking care of business (on Friday) with Barthelemy. Once that fight is over and I defend my title, all of the other champions are on alert for 2014."

Mendez makes the second defense of the belt he acquired in emphatic fashion, doubly serving as tasty revenge. His championship win came last March, knocking out Juan Carlos Salgado in a rematch to their closely contested affair in Mexico in Sept. '11.

The feat ended Salgado's second title reign at 130. His first reign was one-and-done, scoring a shocking knockout over then-unbeaten Jorge Linares but suffering a 12th round stoppage against Uchiyama in Jan. '10.

The lone defense for Mendez thus far came in the Friday Night Fights season finale last August, as the Dominican star was held to a highly controversial 12-round draw versus Arash Usmanee. The bout headlined a card marking the promotional debut of former heavyweight king Mike Tyson, who joined forces with Mendez' promoters - formerly known as Acquinity Sports - to form Iron Mike Productions.

Usmanee found himself in another questionable call earlier in 2013, landing on the wrong end of a disputed decision in his 12-round title eliminator versus Barthelemy in last year's Friday Night Fights season opener.

Barthelemy proved his worth later in the year, scoring a 2nd round knockout over Thailand's Fahsai Sakkreerin this past June in Minneapolis. He returns to Twin Cities this weekend in hopes of remaining unbeaten and returning to his adopted home of Miami as a new champion.

Mendez obviously has other plans in mind.

"He had a lot to say when I fought (Usmanee)," Mendez recalls of the banter between camps last summer. "We agreed to fight Arash because everyone knows he beat (Barthelemy), so I did the right thing. Once I'm done with this guy on Friday, he'll know what it's like to lose for real.

"I'm ready to give the best performance of my career, snatching this guy's unbeaten record and sending word to all of the other champs that they gotta go through me to try to prove they the best."

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by manueltf on 01-03-2014

[QUOTE=illpapi;14091089]By KO? Who are you kidding? The only chance Barthelemy has is winning by decision and that's only because sometimes Mendez's work rate tends to be a little low. But Barthelemy for the most part likes to counterpunch and dance…

Comment by Miles_ on 01-01-2014

[QUOTE=.:: JSFD26 ::.;14091339]I love Mendez but I can't trust him in the late rounds. [SIZE="1"][I]Posted from Boxingscene.com App for Android[/I][/SIZE][/QUOTE] co-sign, dude seems 2 lose it

Comment by zuldo on 01-01-2014

[QUOTE=illpapi;14090403]Mendez....The new 130/35 lbs star...let's get it![/QUOTE] ya lo sabe manin haters gonna hate war mendez:boxing::buttkick:

Comment by Rpgboxen on 01-01-2014

I see Mendez winning a close fight by SD.

Comment by BattleAxePurist on 01-01-2014

SFW has a pretty good lineup in terms of all 4 beltholders. Uchiyama and Garcia are top level guys Mendez is right below maybe could be there soon Miura isn't overly skilled but certainly not a weak beltholder he's brutish/rugged…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (14)
Top Headlines Liam Smith: I Will Shake Up The World When I Beat Canelo Groves Explains His Version of Events in Golovkin Sparring Tale Photos: Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter Ready For Barclays War Weights from Brooklyn: Porter Strips to 147, Thurman at 146 Liam Smith vs. Canelo Alvarez - Fight Poster Revealed Canelo Alvarez vs. Liam Smith Finalized at 154, 9/17 on PPV Fury To Klitschko: I'm Hitler? You Stupid F***ing Ukrainian Pr*ck! Golden Boy VP Reacts To Arum, Insists Pacquiao vs. Broner is On! Video: Sky Sports Crew Discuss Klitschko vs. Fury Postponement Video: Joshua-Breazeale, Groves-Murray, Eubank-Doran Weighin Jason Sosa Drills Javier Fortuna in Eleventh, Grabs WBA Title Eubank Jr: I Didn't Want To Take Off Underwear, Scare Everyone Photos: Anthony Joshua, Dominic Breazeale Ready For Battle Felix Diaz-Levan Ghvamichava Tops PBC on FS1, July 12 Photo: Tyson Fury's Badly Bruised, Sprained Ankle Injury Felix Verdejo-Jose Felix Likely For October - If Pacquiao Returns Fury Rolls Ankle, July 9 Klitschko Rematch Postponed Thurman Warns: Stop Protecting Your Record Like Mayweather! Arum: Golovkin vs. Ramirez, We Have Deal in Principle For 2017 Groves Explains Boost With McGuigan as Murray Bout Nears Anthony Joshua Willing To Help Joe Joyce Learn, Keep Active Andy Vences: I Have To Be at My Best To Win UniMas Bout Video: Kenny Porter on Tactics For Keith Thurman, More Eubank Sr: No Way Does My Son Lose To Gennady Golovkin! Golovkin's Trainer: Kovalev Will Punish Ward, May Stop Him Keith Thurman: I Have a Burning Desire To Knock Porter Out! Video: Lou DiBella Discusses Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter Shawn Porter Smiles: "Special Things Happen in Brooklyn" Video: Arum Discusses Pacquiao vs. Lomachenko, More Porter: If Mayweather Returns, He's Coming For The WBA Belt WBA Officially Opens Up an Office in China Video: Anthony Joshua Ready To Drill Breazeale Like Martin Video: Bob Arum Discusses Kell Brook vs. Jessie Vargas Devin Haney To Make World Fighting Championships Debut Arum Reacts To Golden Boy VP - Trashes Canelo vs. Smith! Video: Wladimir Klitschko Cracks Away on The Pads Canelo's Next Opponent Close To Finalized, Pacquiao is Out Photos/Weights: LaRon Mitchell vs. Epifanio Menodza Video: Shawn Porter on Thurman Relationship, Mayweather Telemundo Weights From Tampa: Rodriguez 115, Quijano 114
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement